2011-07-31 - Nahum
Chapter 1, Verses 2-10 ~ Part 8
Verse 2: This verse has a much longer perspective. It is one of great hope and promise. But it has yet to be fulfilled. The promise is that the nation will be reunited and restored to its former glory. Clearly this has yet to happen, therefore it can be understood as a promise, Messianic in nature and still future in context.
"Then I saw a new Heaven and a new Earth, for the first Heaven and the first Earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" (Revelation 21:1-5).
Verses 3-10: Next comes the description of the destruction of Nineveh by an army made up of two allies, the Medes and the Babylonians, although some see the initial verses as describing the Assyrian army, not that of their attackers. The attacking army is dressed and armored in red. This may be literal, but can simply be representative of the violence and blood which will flow through the streets of Nineveh. So first the infantry arrives. It is rapidly followed by the mobile force, a contingent of chariots. These vehicles run through the streets of the city. As an aside, and keeping in line with my opening comments, some are pretty free and easy with interpretation. Some authors taking an extremely long view project this whole passage into the "Last Days" and see these descriptions as automobiles going through the city. Next the Assyrian king prepares a defense against the city wall, but to no avail. The dam outside the city was used as an attack weapon.
Johnson notes: ""Sennacherib dammed the Khosr [River], outside the city, and thus made a reservoir.1 Thompson and Hutchinson report the water was restrained by a magnificent double dam with two massive river walls at some distance from Nineveh itself. In the ruins they found traces of the original dam gates, or sluices, by which the water flow to the city could be increased or reduced" (Maier, The Book of Nahum: A Commentary, p. 253). So perhaps at the beginning of the siege the enemy closed the floodgates. When the reservoirs were completely full, they threw open the gates and the palace collapsed. The waters may have also been increased by heavy rains . The nation that had ruined many enemy palaces now found its own palace devastated." The people are exiled and the city is plundered. Nothing is left. A great nation has fallen. Blessed be the Lord God Almighty.
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